Endocrine disorders and secondary high blood pressure

Your endocrine system is a network of glands located throughout your body that produce and release various hormones into your bloodstream. These hormones act as chemical "messengers" that make your body perform various functions. For example, your body releases certain hormones (such as adrenaline/epinephrine) when it is under stress and needs more blood and oxygen. Hormones play a significant role in controlling your blood pressure because they send messages controlling your heart's output of blood, the stiffness of your arteries, and changes in your blood volume. Such secondary hypertension is very rare. The following chart outlines the most common hormonal causes of secondary hypertension.

Endocrine disorders and high blood pressure

Type of hormonal disorder

What happens

How it causes hypertension

Hyperaldosteronism Excess production of aldosterone (a hormone that regulates salt and water balance in your kidneys) may be caused by overactivity of the adrenal glands or a tumor of the adrenal glands. Your kidneys retain too much salt and water while eliminating potassium.
Cushing’s disease Overproduction of cortisol (the major hormone produced by the adrenal glands) caused by pituitary gland growth Your kidneys retain too much salt and water while eliminating potassium.
Pheochromocytoma A rare type of tumor that produces chemicals that resemble some of your own hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine, which constrict your blood vessels) Constricts your blood vessels and increases cardiac output during contraction
Excess growth hormone Your pituitary gland directs the formation and distribution of too much growth hormone. Growth hormone promotes increases in blood volume through the retention of salt and water in your kidneys.
Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism

Hyperthyroidism develops when there is too much thyroid hormone circulating in the body. Hypothyroidism develops when there is too little thyroid hormone in the body.

Hyperthyroidism may increase the force of heart contractions. Hypothyroidism may increase the resistance of blood vessels.

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